Wait, Are Croakies Back?


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Croakies—those stringy things that keep one’s sunglasses secured to one’s face, or allow said eyewear to dangle freely from one’s neck—are generally considered a defining component of what is known as the “Uber-Bro” look. They typically appear alongside gingham shirts, pastel shorts, flip-flops, and other smugly non-stylish summer items. But is this about to change? In recent seasons, we’ve seen Croakies—not on bros sipping brunch lagers—but on the runways of some of our favorite designers. Is this some sort of high-fashion prank? Or does this mean Croakies will soon be a de rigueur accessory with your favorite summer suit? Let’s investigate the evidence.

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Alexander Wang x H&M

Last year, Alexander Wang brought his dark sportiness to the masses with his H&M collaboration. Croakies worked here for one reason alone: the color black. Murder out any outfit and you instantly erase any trace of frattiness. The inherent seriousness of the look overcomes any would-be bro irony, even when the Croakies read “WANG,” as above.

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Patrik Ervell

This monochromatic look features what we might call dressed-up Croakies. The string itself is simple and minimalist, not emblazoned with greek letters, Gators, Hawkeyes, or Blue Devils. They imply you might be wearing them because you actually need them for something—something more worldly than performing a keg-stand in full sun, in any case.

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Orley

Here things get dicier. There are the short light blue shorts, for one thing. The polo shirt. The generic white guy. This look seems headed full-speed toward frat boy cliché. So what saves it? The answer lies not with the clothes or even the Croakies, but with the sunglasses themselves. They’re not the plastic wayfarers with the neon arms, or even plain aviators. The unconventional circular frame with a sporty reflective lens instantly communicates style, sophistication, and most of all, a uniqueness rarely seen in the bro-mmunity.

The Verdict:

So, is the Croakie officially back, ready to be sported at your local barbecue with impunity? We’re not there yet. But as is the case with all accessories, it’s possible to wear Croakies the right way if you take care what you wear them with. Keep things simple, subtle, and stylish, and you may even convince some of your snobbily stylish friends to join you.

And now, a couple pairs of GQ-approved Croakies if you’re ready to get on board:

American Eagle, $17.95

REI, $6